It is important for programs to be licensed or regulated in order to ensure minimum health and safety standards are consistently being met. Programs can voluntarily go beyond the minimum licensing standards and pursue accreditation. Accreditation standards often exceed licensing requirements. Accreditation standards are developed by nationally recognized organizations in the early care field. Programs that become accredited commit to meeting standards related to the following areas:
- Family Engagement and Support
- Health and Safety
- Leadership and Management
- Learning Environments
- Workforce Qualifications and Professional Development
National Association for the Education of Young Children – The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8.
National Association for Family Child Care – The National Association for Family Child Care Promotes high-quality early childhood experiences in the unique environment of family child care programs.
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, (NEASC) – The New England Association of Schools and Colleges maintains high standards for all levels of education
Head Start – Provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and families